Ever gone fishing?
It dangles in front of me on the makeshift hook, moving slowly threw the water as it is pulled back to shore. I advance slowly on it, studying it very carefully, amusing myself at how silly their practices are. I get close enough to nipple at the piece of meat being offered, but never opening my mouth wide enough to get hooked. I've always prided myself at being wiser than my fellow brothers. And as I grow older, it saddens me to see each day, a few snatched up by the hook. Our food supply has dwindle down to almost nothing so it was only time before we turned to accepting food from the carefully planned trap.
The hook gets pulled sharply, and unexpectedly, and the point of it pierces the side of my mouth. Not too deep, if I had to guess a measure, I would say a piece of my fin wide, but enough to drag me in a direction I don't want to go. I unfold my fins from where they were lying against my body, and push against the water with all my might the opposite way. My struggle pays off and I tear part of my lip open as it flies back to its owner. But even though I'm in pain, it doesn't stop me from noticing that the meat I was anxious to get has fallen off. I snatch it up as it flutters to the ground and swallow it whole. I swim away disappointed, more ashamed of myself really since I should have known better.
It’s been four weeks since we've had to be carefully about our movements. Before, we had mastered the art of escaping the predators that lived in this vast land with us. Then 'they' had started to try and hunt us. Their patterns were different and usually hard to comprehend. Their advantage was that they lived outside our land in what my ancestors called the non-breathable area. For some reason, I could see 100% down here but my sight was clouded if I tried to look out. These new predators were crafty, perched completely still even as we swam around them, so that we did not notice their presence. I lost two brothers to them and almost got caught myself but I was too slippery for them and returned to my homeland. I credit it as my first, last and only mistake.
I have to give one thing to them, is that they're reluctant to give up. Even as I swim away hurt and defeated, I see that they've tossed another line into our domain. From some ways away, a few of my family members advance on it studying it like I did earlier. They follow it from a distance while waiting for the perfect moment to strike. One of my favorite sisters goes to make her move but the bait changes direction rapidly and she's confused. Just long enough to get snatched. Fire burns in my eyes as I see her start to be dragged back. I put on a burst of speed and grab the line in my mouth. I pull with all that I can muster to hold it long enough for her to get free, which she does. However, I didn't anticipate for the hook to come at me so fast and it catches me on the other side of my lip, this time deeper than before.
I'm stuck. There's nothing I can do. I don't want to give up but I fight for as long as I can before I'm in their world. Almost immediately I start to choke, as there is no oxygen traveling to my lungs. It isn't long before I can squirm no longer and find myself being held by something else. As smart as I am, I only knew it was a matter of time before I had gotten caught by them. Before I can wonder what happens next, something hard is shoved down my throat forcing its way out my back. If I wasn't very low on air, it might have hurt more than I can feel. I feel something warm tingling my body but I can't see it. As the last bit of air leaves my body, I take pride in the fact that I at least provided my family with a few moments of comfort.